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Callaway’s new high-end Epic, Epic Pro irons and hybrids

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How does Callaway follow up the most popular new drivers on the market? It introduces a set of players irons built like game-improvement irons with never-before-seen technology, of course.

With its new Epic and Epic Pro irons, Callaway is introducing a new weighting system that starts with tungsten-powder pellets to dial in the performance and feel of each iron. It’s also bringing more distance and forgiveness into Pro-style irons (re: smaller frames, toplines and sole widths), helping the Epic Pro irons create more ball speed than the company’s popular Apex CF ’16 irons.

It’s no accident that irons called “Epic” are introducing new technology to the world of golf clubs. With its GBB Epic and GBB Epic Sub Zero drivers, Callaway gave the golfing world “Jailbreak,” or two titanium rods that connected the crown and the sole to produce more ball speed and overall distance.

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about Callaway’s Epic irons

Discussion: See Callaway’s Epic iron in hand photos and comparison pics with other irons

EXOCage

Like Callaway’s Big Bertha irons, the Epic and Epic Pro irons use Callaway’s Exo-Cage design.

For the irons also bearing the Epic name, Hocknell and a team of 70 or more engineers had no boundaries or budget to create game-changing irons. Hocknell’s goal was to create a Pro iron with distance-enhancing technologies. As such, “Doc’s Irons,” as the Pro irons were referred to internally at Callaway, were given Face Cups and an “Exo Cage” steel structure (pictured above) to support the Face Cups. While Callaway has used Face Cups to increase ball speeds in its metal woods and game-improvement irons, it has never before added the technology to a set of players irons like the Epic Pro.

Epic Pro Irons Gallery

The Epic Pro irons also employ a tungsten-steel weighting system that yields greater control over where center of gravity is placed inside each iron. The weights start as tungsten and steel powders, which are then cooked for 51 hours at 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit before they’re injection molded into the center of the irons. The long irons use the intricately-shaped weights that are positioned low and toe-ward in the heads to influence a higher ball flight, while the shorter irons have the weights placed higher in the heads to encourage more spin, control and workability. This means each individual iron has a specialized center of gravity that plays to the needs of that iron.

TungstenWeighting

This weighting system also allows Callaway to control the weight of the heads. The company can make the club heads up to 5 grams heavier or lighter depending on a golfer’s needs, which gives consumers the same head-weight options as Callaway’s Tour players, the company says.

HoselThe two-piece structured irons also have a hosel that weighs nearly 30 grams less than the Apex 2016 irons. Eliminating weight from the hosel allowed Callaway to use that weight more efficiently, and helped to build up a stronger Exo Cage backbone.

The result of the new design is 0.5 mph of added ball speed compared to the Callaway Apex irons, according to Callaway, which are widely considered one of the longest-flying game-improvement irons available. As a reminder, the Epic Pro irons are more of a players irons, making those ball speeds quite impressive.

Epic Irons Gallery

Although the original intent of Hocknell’s design was for a Pro-style iron, he asked himself “What would happen if you enlarged the size?” Thus, the Epic game-improvement irons were birthed. The Epic irons have the same Exo Cage and tungsten-infused weight system that the Epic Pro irons utilize, except they have more offset, wide soles, larger club faces and slightly stronger lofts. Golfers can expect these irons to be a half-club longer than Callaway’s Apex irons, according to Callaway. They will suit the fancy of golfers who need a bit more forgiveness and distance than the Epic Pro offering.

The Epic and Epic Pro irons will sell for $250 apiece with steel shafts and $280 each with graphite shafts. If those price tags shock you — and we don’t blame you if they do — welcome to the current state of the market where high-end irons are more common than ever.

Epic Hybrid Gallery

To round out the line of Epic clubs, Callaway is also introducing Epic hybrids that use the same technologies as Epic fairway woods. That’s to say they have lightweight, carbon crowns and the company’s Face Cup technology to produce distance and forgiveness. They’re available for $279.99 each in 2, 3, 4 and 5 hybrid options.

Epic, Epic Pro and Epic hybrids will be available in stores and through Callaway’s website June 16.

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about Callaway’s Epic irons

Discussion: See Callaway’s Epic iron in hand photos and comparison pics with other irons

 

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He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

67 Comments

67 Comments

  1. Rick Ford

    Mar 31, 2020 at 10:22 am

    Got them, love them. Didn’t pay anywhere near the starting retail. If you evaluate without taking $$ into consideration they are fantastic irons. Long, high and accurate. I’m in the minority I guess but I like the looks!

  2. Jon P

    Dec 8, 2019 at 3:41 am

    Got these for $550 4-aw project x LZ 105, they are AMAZING.

  3. John Krug

    Aug 30, 2017 at 10:25 am

    Why does the 2 hybrid have a loft of 18 degrees instead of 16 degrees?

  4. Mikee

    Jun 9, 2017 at 9:37 am

    I hit the new Epic CF17 last night. I was impressed. They don’t look great but………numbers don’t lie!

  5. TeeBone

    Jun 8, 2017 at 2:58 am

    Congratulations…your first post that made sense!

  6. TeeBone

    Jun 8, 2017 at 2:56 am

    “No boundaries or budget”? Ahh, the “PXG Effect”. $250 – 280 per iron? Ahh, the “PXG effect”. If the herd didn’t still think they can buy a game, these ridiculous prices wouldn’t fly.

  7. cray

    May 25, 2017 at 10:37 am

    Guys like you are boring. Hate to hate. First tee baby. My 250 3 iron down the center with high flight will be nice as you bang your 200 straight down the center.

  8. Lob Wedge

    May 25, 2017 at 3:53 am

    Dear Callaway,

    Congrats on picking up the Taylormade Marketing department.

  9. KK

    May 24, 2017 at 10:06 pm

    So all of these golf pioneers were just lying crooks cheating uninformed golfers: Ping with their Eye2 irons, Callaway with their Big Bertha drivers, TaylorMade with their R drivers, Vokey with his wedges. Right. I see your brilliance. I really do.

  10. Dave R

    May 24, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    Tom you are right on well said. Hope some one in the golf market understands and starts to listen. Seems the billionaire is the one calling the shots with his screws in the clubs, the other companies just jumping on board . What’s the limit the market will bear? Only time will tell. I’ll continue to hack with my cheap 5 year discounted mizuno. They still work sometimes.

  11. Tom54

    May 24, 2017 at 3:45 pm

    $250 a club? What are they thinking when they plop this price on ? A nice set of irons might be worth $1200-1400 Even at that price it’s up there. Good irons last several years with proper care and grip changes. Only problem nowadays is if you’ve got a nice set for couple of years it is now 3-4 models old and no longer relevant. Let’s face it all clubs are maxed out technology wise so all they are doing is a cosmetic change here and there but you’ve just got to have it. Best way to go is wait 6 months and get today’s hot item for a fraction of the cost. I believe they have not found the holy grail club if it has to be changed twice a year.

  12. dcorun

    May 24, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    I’m not a hater of any golf company but, I just don’t understand what’s going on. They say the game is going in the tank and then can’t understand why. People may think the economy is getting better but, $2000 for a set of irons better? As a previous member posted, practice and getting some lessons will help more than any club you buy. They have a driverless car but, haven’t invented the golf club that swings for you. What they need is another category for clubs.

    Players Clubs
    Game Improvement Clubs
    Super Game Improvement Clubs
    I HAVE MONEY TO BURN CLUBs.

  13. King of Carlsbad

    May 24, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    Seem fantastic. Same haters had Callaway going out of business years ago.

    • Me

      May 24, 2017 at 3:21 pm

      It wasn’t haters, Callaway was practically a penny stock a few years ago. Poor distribution, 100s laid off, way over inventoried, low demand, marketing was awful, and retail prices were falling. Speculation was Nike was ready to pounce and probably should have. Nothing to do with hatred, just a grim reality of business.

  14. Dave R

    May 24, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    Really $250.00 a club COM ON BOYS ? ONLY THE RICH PLAY GOLF IN THE FURTURE!!!!!!!! . Thought we were trying to promote the game not get rid of it.

  15. Joro

    May 24, 2017 at 10:36 am

    They are for people with way more money than a game. They are just continuing on their quest to buy a better game. Find a good teacher instead. You will not see very many real players with these, at least after a month. Part of their contract may require playing them for a while, but then back to the Gamers. Just another marketing scam for a production Club.

  16. MySlice

    May 24, 2017 at 7:26 am

    I guess in keeping with tradition, they HAD to release them but they are definitely ugly. Someone will like them im sure.

  17. Matt

    May 24, 2017 at 3:14 am

    Wow, those irons are really fugly. 70 engineers but obviously none with a good eye.

  18. Judge mental

    May 24, 2017 at 3:06 am

    Golf clubs for rich kids

  19. Mat

    May 24, 2017 at 1:44 am

    Even
    Phil
    Is
    Cringing

  20. Mat

    May 24, 2017 at 1:43 am

    Embodied
    PXG
    In
    China

  21. Mat

    May 24, 2017 at 1:41 am

    Engineering
    Poor;
    Insane
    Cost

  22. tlmcik

    May 23, 2017 at 9:05 pm

    Rube Goldberg would be proud.

  23. TWShoot67

    May 23, 2017 at 7:58 pm

    I just find it hilarious that they are trying to sell us on SEVENTY I mean over SEVENTY engineers have worked on this aeronautical design. to get 0.5 mph increased ball speeds. And will that mean that crazy ECO Cage frame be Casted or forged? CNC’d? All this cost must be paying for those over 70 engineers. lol. I guess you really can’t blame them because if you listen to PXG they are killing it with a one of a kind tech, that’s why I see at least 1-2 sets being sold every week in the BST ( because the owners are so happy with this product). I see the same thing happening here with this Callaway product. They’re betting on those individuals that have that big bank account who still thinks its better to spend thousands of dollars on high end clubs then to buy lessons. As hard work and dedication is just that hard. It’s easier to try a hopefully buy a game. Have fun boys. all of this wonderful tech and still amateur golfers scores are no better then when they went out and picked up 200.00 sets of irons. Now they pay 2,000.00 a set and still can’t break a 100. I think maybe Callaway has too many engineers at one company to design a set of clubs.

  24. Mark

    May 23, 2017 at 7:58 pm

    Are those the new RBZ irons?

  25. MrPoopoo

    May 23, 2017 at 7:49 pm

    hmm… Epic Ugly from a decal/graphics side, but at least they look pretty good from address… which is more important anyway.

    Better players don’t care about ball speed on irons. Distance control, consistency and workability are more important. Trajectory is important, but that can be adjusted with shaft fittings.

  26. Eric B

    May 23, 2017 at 7:46 pm

    Lol cast clubs at Japanese forged prices. FoH Callaway.

  27. Duk Koo Kim

    May 23, 2017 at 7:13 pm

    He said “Nickent!” Great call!!

  28. Sam

    May 23, 2017 at 6:58 pm

    These irons are just compact hybrids. With Callaway’s reputation for quality, you’re going to get some real heaters that fly 20 yards past the green

  29. John

    May 23, 2017 at 5:13 pm

    Yes, golfers are looking for GI irons that look like players irons. Like Ping I200. Now those are some nice looking irons.

  30. AceW7Iron

    May 23, 2017 at 4:05 pm

    Yep..Im die-hard in the prime of my buying life but these are outside the boundary. I did reach for the Epic driver used off the Bay but $280 for just 1 iron? Off the hizzy…
    Im out… Enjoy them Gates & Company

  31. brian

    May 23, 2017 at 3:57 pm

    haha, I wouldn’t bag those ugly sticks for $800 a set, let alone $2k. Good luck with that, Callaway.

  32. Joey5Picks

    May 23, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    Their target market: people with more money than sense.

  33. Bob Jacobs

    May 23, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    I guess their figuring that PXG irons go for a ton of money, so what they heck, let’s go for it!! Silly

    I just dont get why these manufacturers dont go for a cleaner look all around. Also who came up with this incredibly gross green color theme?? I own an Epic and love it, but certainly not from an aesthetics standpoint.

    C’mon guys, give us less marketing, labels and phony tech looking stuff on the outside of the club!!

  34. Minnesota golfer

    May 23, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    It’s ridiculous the lofts of the Epic Irons are even stronger (lower number) than Apex cf16 irons. Definitely game improvement irons. PASS.

  35. alexdub

    May 23, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    Lolz. $2k for face cups. I bet these are no different than the XR Pros. Callaway is doing is their own litmus market test for a higher price point — something akin to what Titleist did with the C16 line.

    • LH

      May 23, 2017 at 8:31 pm

      You mean no different to the original Fusions.

  36. Steve

    May 23, 2017 at 11:11 am

    Titleist sold their full stock of C16 irons so Callaway jumps on the bandwagon.

    In 2 years the “standard” set of irons will cost $1500.

  37. Prut

    May 23, 2017 at 11:00 am

    They have Nickent look to them.

  38. Dat

    May 23, 2017 at 10:25 am

    “If those price tags shock you — and we don’t blame you if they do — welcome to the current state of the market where high-end irons are more common than ever.”

    The prices don’t shock me at all. Especially from a cheesy marketing company like Callaway Golf – which is exactly that. Their clubs, aside from the Rory MB protos, are purely built on technology that is over a decade old in new skin and fancy graphics. The market will only bear this for so long; so take advantage while you can, Callaway. Ride is about to end. Golf is in for a rude awakening when these clubs fizzle at retail. Everyone saying, “I told you so” is going to be correct here. Most players want a set of irons at $1000 or less, not $2000 or more.

    • Vanessa Carlysle

      May 23, 2017 at 2:59 pm

      +1000

      The last two announcements on WRX from Callaway/Odyssey have been embarrassing.
      1. The red putters – copied exact color from TM – Pathetic
      2. High Price, Ugly look Irons – copied idea from PXG – Pathetic

      Would like to see more imagination, innovation and origination from this company, but not going to hold my breath

    • setter02

      May 23, 2017 at 4:46 pm

      Just makes them seem like a bargain when they are 50% off in 6-8 months and they are still making money off of them. Retailers not to much, but the OEM’s don’t care about them as the ‘cost’ pricing keeps going up and up and up for no real reason.

    • Feel the Bern

      May 23, 2017 at 7:47 pm

      I agree with you, but I would add that the Rory MB’s are built on technology over 4 decades old!

      • Me

        May 24, 2017 at 3:30 pm

        Rory no longer plays with Callaway blades….he now plays Taylormade. Just sayin

  39. C

    May 23, 2017 at 10:05 am

    That’s a lot of offset.

  40. SoCalSlicer

    May 23, 2017 at 10:02 am

    How many levels of approval do these go through, before they are given a green light? Those have to be some of the worst, and I mean the most hideous irons I’ve ever seen. Ever. Good god.

  41. BB

    May 23, 2017 at 9:52 am

    $250 an iron? Overpriced junk.

  42. Leon

    May 23, 2017 at 9:22 am

    Callaway will be the next Taylormade, that’s it.

  43. Golferguy

    May 23, 2017 at 9:21 am

    I would’ve loved to see these clubs dressed up in plain steel, a la Srixon, Mizuno, etc. Going forward, I’m considering a set of Miura clubs if I choose to go high-end, though my Mizuno sticks are working for me really well.

  44. Tyson Rochambeau

    May 23, 2017 at 9:17 am

    High end? They look like a set from Wal-Mart.

  45. J C

    May 23, 2017 at 9:14 am

    Those of you who are saying these are ugly you need to seem them in person. The pro’s look great. I would like to know what shafts are available for the hybrids.

  46. DJ

    May 23, 2017 at 8:32 am

    My goodness those are hideous. Callaway making it very hard to become a fan

  47. Teaj

    May 23, 2017 at 8:24 am

    A players iron that looks like a GI iron, I’m not sure the market for players irons wants a busy looking club head, I have been wrong before though. I am sure people will bring up the fact that you do not see the back of the club when at address but there is something to be said about looking at your bag from a far and seeing a nice clean looking set of clubs (my opinion)

    • Steve

      May 23, 2017 at 11:15 am

      The funny thing is I think the market wants the EXACT opposite – GI irons that look like players irons.

  48. Greg V

    May 23, 2017 at 8:24 am

    They look cheap.

  49. LH

    May 23, 2017 at 8:22 am

    Gorgeous. Count me in for Epic Pro

  50. Nath

    May 23, 2017 at 7:51 am

    I really like the shape of the hybrid

  51. Corey

    May 23, 2017 at 7:49 am

    I like Cally, but not gonna sell a whole lot at that price. If your gonna be expensive, you better be pretty.

  52. Desmond

    May 23, 2017 at 7:35 am

    Assume the pics at address and that overly thick topline (reminiscent of the Big Bertha OS) are of the normal Epic, not the Epic Pro.

  53. Duk Koo Kim

    May 23, 2017 at 7:35 am

    +2……..and at 2 grand a set? As the kids used to say, REALLY? Callaway needs to get tossed away!

    And what may I ask is “high end?” What a riot!

  54. Powder skier

    May 23, 2017 at 6:46 am

    Hope they work better then they look uugh

  55. Mr Muira

    May 23, 2017 at 6:32 am

    Fugly.

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Equipment

GolfWRX Spotlight: TaylorMade SIM Max Rescue review

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TaylorMade on the tech features of the TaylorMade SIM Max Rescue

  • V Steel Sole design

    The v-shaped sole allows for clean turf interaction and provides additional versatility when playing from tight or difficult lies

  • Twist Face

    Uses corrective face angles designed to overcome inherent golfer tendencies on mis-hits and to produce straighter shots

  • Thru-Slot Speed Pocket

    Our breakthrough Thru-Slot Speed Pocket technology delivers enhanced sole flexibility to create additional ball speed as well as improved forgiveness on low-face mis-hits

  • C300 Ultra-Strong Steel Face

    High-strength C300 steel allows for a stronger, faster face engineered for explosive speed performance *Only SIM Max Fairway and Rescue

How it looks: TaylorMade SIM Max Rescue

I’ll be honest here: I hate hybrids. They look goofy and I hit em high and left 101 percent of the time. However, every once in a while I’ll find one that I can warm up to. It’s happened twice in the last five years: PXG Gen 2 and SIM Max. I’m not sure what it is exactly, but this hybrid looks like it’s gonna get into the turf and I’m actually gonna hit a good shot. The color scheme is clean and simple. The lines are sleek and not boxy, which is always a bonus. Sometimes hybrids look like a brick on a stick to me. This one does not.

How it feels: TaylorMade SIM Max hybrid

This is where I got really intrigued: the feel. It’s solid. Really solid. Now, I must say that TM didn’t reinvent the wheel with this thing, but the SIM Max is just a simple solid hybrid that is easy to hit and gets through the turf. The V Steel helps that I reckon. It has a nice heavy hit which is good since this is supposed to transition from woods to irons.

Overall: TaylorMade SIM Max Rescue

It’s a winner. Not hybrid of the century or anything, but a club that could stay in the bag for a while and produce solid results. Look, we have 14 slots to play and they all have a job to do. You cannot go wrong by giving this one a slot in the starting lineup!

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Equipment

What GolfWRXers have spent more money on – Drivers vs Putters

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In our forums, WRXer ‘2down’ has got our members talking about their purchase history and whether drivers or putters have taken more of their money. For ‘2down’ the answer is putters, who has a respectable seven flat-sticks sitting around his home, and our members divulge their history with drivers slightly edging it so far.

  • getitdaily: “Putters, but I change drivers more frequently…how does that make sense? When I change putters I will go through 7-10 of them until I find my bride. Then I stick with my bride for a while. I’ve had 2 brides…an old scotty newport beach studio stainless. Took about 10 putters to find it and then played it for like 12 years. Current bride is a spider tour plumbers neck. It’s been in the bag for 1.5 years now. Took about 8 putters to get to it, including a somewhat long term relationship with a 2ball fang. Since 1996 I think I’ve had 10 drivers total. 4 in the last 4 years.”
  • platgof: “I would say 24 drivers and 12 putters thereabouts. Took a long time to find what I wanted. I am still looking all the time though, it’s a disease, totally incurable. Now it is the wedges, and the SM7’s have my eye for now!”
  • CDLgolf: “Thats a really good question. At the moment I have 4 putters and 2 drivers. Over the last 25 years I’d have to say I’ve bought more drivers.”
  • Ray Jackson: “Definitely drivers as have used the same putter for at least the last 5 years. In that time frame I’ve probably had 4 drivers.”
  • dekez: “Drivers for sure. I go 6 – 7 years before even thinking about a putter switch.”

Entire Thread: “Your history – Drivers vs Putters”

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Whats in the Bag

WITB Time Machine: Phil Mickelson WITB, 2016 Waste Management Phoenix Open

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  • Equipment is accurate as of the Waste Management Phoenix Open (2016).

Driver: Callaway XR 16 Sub Zero (8.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Fubuki J 60 X (tipped 1 inch, 45.5 inches)

3-wood: Callaway X Hot 3 Deep (13 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Fubuki J 70 X (tipped 1.5 inches)

Hybrid: Callaway Apex (18 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana S Hybrid 100 TX

Utility iron: Callaway Apex UT (21 degrees)
Shaft: KBS Tour-V 125

Irons: Callaway Apex Pro ’16 (5-PW)
Shafts: KBS Tour-V 125

Wedges: Callaway Mack Daddy PM Grind Wedge (56-13, 60-10, 64-10)
Shafts: KBS Tour-V 125

Putter: Odyssey “Phil Mickelson” Blade
Grip: Odyssey by SuperStroke JP40

Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft (2016)

Grip: Golf Pride MCC Black/White

WITB Notes: Mickelson uses the rearward weight setting in his XR 16 Sub Zero driver.

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